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World Heritage Site Major Mining Sites of Wallonia

The four sites of the property form a strip 170 km long by 3–15 km wide, crossing Belgium from east to west, consisting of the best-preserved 19th- and 20th-century coal-mining sites of the country. It features examples of the utopian architecture from the early periods of the industrial era in Europe within a highly integrated, industrial and urban ensemble, notably the Grand-Hornu colliery and workers’ city designed by Bruno Renard in the first half of the 19th century. Bois-du-Luc includes numerous buildings erected from 1838 to 1909 and one of Europe’s oldest collieries dating back to the late 17th century. While Wallonia had hundreds of collieries, most have lost their infrastructure, while the four components of the listed site retain a high measure of integrity.

Criteria for inclusion as a World Heritage Site

iiTo exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design. All
ivTo be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history. All
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World Heritage Site 2012
Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin

Remarkable as a landscape shaped over three centuries of coal extraction from the 1700s to the 1900s, the site consists of 109 separate components over 120,000 ha. It features mining pits (the oldest of which dates from 1850) and lift infrastructur…

Atlas Obscura 2018
Explore One of Belgium’s Oldest Hospitals

Hopital Notre-Dame à la Rose saw patients from the 13th to 20th centuries before becoming a museum.

Audio Guide
Audio Guide
Classical Mons
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Atlas Obscura 2018
Bavay Ancient Forum

Discover Bavay Ancient Forum in Bavay, France: These ruins reveal the remarkably intact layout of a Roman marketplace.

Atlas Obscura 2020
Belfry of Tournai

Discover Belfry of Tournai in Tournai, Belgium: After the construction of a nearby cathedral obstructed the view, the oldest belfry in Belgium was more than doubled in height.

Brutalism 1964
Kapel van Kerselare
World Heritage Site 2000
Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Tournai was built in the first half of the 12th century. It is especially distinguished by a Romanesque nave of extraordinary dimensions, a wealth of sculpture on its capitals and a transept topped by five towers, all prec…

World Heritage Site 2000
Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes (Mons)

The Neolithic flint mines at Spiennes, covering more than 100 ha, are the largest and earliest concentration of ancient mines in Europe. They are also remarkable for the diversity of technological solutions used for extraction and for the fact that they…

Musée Royal de Mariemont
Audio Guide 2020
Audio Guide
Tournai Cathedral
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Brutalism 1964
The Vandenhaute-Kiebooms House
Atlas Obscura 2017
A 141-Foot Wave of Crashing Lumber Guards the Grand Place in Mons

The wild installation stands in stark contrast to the buildings of Belgium’s historic Rue de Nimy.

Audio Guide
Audio Guide
In the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh in the Borinage
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Atlas Obscura 2018
Abandoned Eurostar Train

Discover Abandoned Eurostar Train in Valenciennes, France: This is what trains will look like after the zombie apocalypse.

Audio Guide
Audio Guide
Dragons in the city
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Brutalism 1968
Westrand Cultural Center
World Heritage Site 1998
The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainaut)

The four hydraulic boat-lifts on this short stretch of the historic Canal du Centre are industrial monuments of the highest quality. Together with the canal itself and its associated structures, they constitute a remarkably well-preserved and complete e…